IND vs AUS – 4th ODI: Warner-Finch, pacers end India’s winning streak

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September 28, 2017

Brief Scorecard: Australia 334 for 5 (Warner 124, Finch 94, Handscomb 43, Umesh 4-71) beat India 313 for 8 (Jadhav 67, Rohit 65, Rahane 53, Richardson 3-58) by 21 runs

September 28, 2017

Brief Scorecard: Australia 334 for 5 (Warner 124, Finch 94, Handscomb 43, Umesh 4-71) beat India 313 for 8 (Jadhav 67, Rohit 65, Rahane 53, Richardson 3-58) by 21 runs

BANGALORE – David Warner celebrated his 100th One-Day International appearance with a strong century, which overshadowed the Indian batsmen’s collective effort and led Australia to a hard-fought 21-run win in the fourth of five ODIs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Thursday (September 28). That left the series at 3-1 in India’s favour.

After Steven Smith won the toss and opted to bat on a batting paradise, Warner and Aaron Finch shared a record 231-run first-wicket stand to help Australia get to 334 for 5 in their 50 overs. Warner scored 124 in 119 balls, while Finch got 94 in 96, and Peter Handscomb played the lead later on with a 30-ball 43.

Chasing the huge score, five of the Indian batsmen crossed the 30-run mark but none of them went on to convert it into a really big score – Kedar Jadhav’s 67 was the best – and they ended on 313 for 8.

Rohit Sharma’s scorching pull and Ajinkya Rahane’s slash over point, both for sixes, made India’s intention clear right at the onset. The two made the most of Australia’s tactic of bowling short, and Rahane, in particular, was at his elegant best as he raced to his third consecutive half-century off 58 balls in the 16th over.

Rohit, at the other end, was dealing in sixes. The Mumbai batsman, who scored the first of his two ODI double-centuries at the same venue against the same opposition back in 2013, smashed Adam Zampa for two sixes in a single over to get past the 50-run mark.

The two were cruising when relief finally came for the Australians in the 19th over, Kane Richardson getting Rahane caught at long-on for 53 with a cross-seam delivery to end the 106-run stand.

The crowd didn’t look too disappointed at that as it brought Kohli to the crease, only till things spiralled out of India’s control quite quickly.

Once upon a time, Australia, considered a superpower in cricket, was more than a match for India. However, India has slowly emerged as a power to reckon with in cricket and started challenging the Aussies and other teams. In the last three decades, the rivalry between India and Australia, especially in ODIs, has entertained cricket lovers all over the world. Let’s take a look at some of the most entertaining one-day matches between the two cricketing giants in the last 35 years.

While it was Rohit who had run Kohli out in Bangalore in the 2013 game between these two teams, this time it was the Indian captain who was caught ball watching and reacted late to Rohit’s call, which let to the latter’s departure. Before the dust had settled, Nathan Coulter-Nile dislodged Kohli’s off-stump off the inside edge to send the crowd into pin-drop silence. Kohli only managed a run-a-ball 21.

India stuck with Hardik Pandya at No. 4, and the swashbuckling allrounder announced his arrival with three impressive sixes off the spinners.

With the game still even at that stage at 147 for 3, Pandya found an ally in the form of Jadhav, who took some time to get his eyes in, but once set, showed a nice array of shots on both sides of the wicket.

Despite being hit for a total of six sixes by Pandya in the two face-offs in this series, it was Adam Zampa who had the last laugh this time, sending back Pandya for a 40-ball 41. Jadhav carried on – bringing up his third ODI half-century – before rain stopped play for 20 minutes. The pair of Jadhav and Manish Pandey then resumed on a confident note, but just when it looked like Jadhav would take the game away from Smith’s men, Richardson ended his 69-ball knock.

Pandey, who scored a 25-ball 33, was sent back soon after by pat Cummins, and that left the stage for MS Dhoni with 40 needed off the last three overs.

But the ploy of bowling around the good length outside off paid dividends for Australia as Dhoni could only manage a 10-ball 13, becoming the third victim for Richardson, who finished with 3 for 58.

From there to the end was just a matter of time.

Earlier, the Australian openers made the most of the rusty new Indian opening bowling pair of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, who were brought in to the XI in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah with India having clinched the series 3-0.

Both Shami and Umesh looked out of match practice and ended up giving away lots of half-volleys at the start of the innings. Umesh, in particular, kept it full in the hope of finding some movement, and he paid for it as Australia scored 76% of their 63 runs in the first 10 overs in boundaries.

Shami – playing his 50th ODI – learned the lesson quickly and pulled his length back a bit, but Kohli had to give the ball to Axar Patel, who was brought in for Kuldeep Yadav, soon. Warner took a couple of overs to get his eye in against the left-arm spinner before turning the heat on. He blasted Axar for a maximum in his third over before slapping him past point to bring up his half-century off just 45 deliveries.

Fresh from the century in the third ODI in Indore, Finch played his role to perfection by making sure Warner got the maximum strike, but scored quickly himself as well. India might have had their moment with the second ball of 23rd over, when Yuzvendra Chahal beat Finch in the air, but Dhoni had a rare missed stumping and allowed Finch to complete his half-century.

The boundaries kept flowing from Warner’s bat and it didn’t take him too long register his first ODI century in India. During the course of the innings, the two also broke Geoff Marsh and David Boon’s record opening partnership of 212 runs for Australia against India in ODIs, which came in Jaipur in 1986.

With all their bowlers till that point having been taken to the cleaners, Kohli had no option but to introduce Jadhav, and like he has done so many times in the past, the man with the golden arm finally ended the mammoth partnership by getting Warner caught at long-on. Warner hit 12 fours and four sixes in his knock and walked back to a standing ovation.

The breakthrough gave India an opening and it was Umesh in his second spell, who made full use it. He first got rid of Finch, who missed his second century in as many matches by just six runs when he toe-ended a slog off Pandya to mid-on, before sending back Smith for just three chipping to Kohli at midwicket. That became Umesh’s 100th ODI wicket.

The flurry of wickets also affected Australia’s scoring rate as Travis Head and Handscomb failed to collect boundaries at the early stages of their partnership. The two finally started to open up in the last five overs but Umesh cut short Head’s stay by dismissing him for 29. Handscomb did strike few blows to help Australia cross the 300-run mark before being knocked over by Umesh, who finished with 4 for 71, in the second last over. Marcus Stoinis (15 not out in nine balls) then hit a six and a four to help Australia set India a big target.

The result also ended India’s winning streak at nine matches, and the two teams will now meet in Nagpur for the final ODI before shifting their focus to three-match Twenty20 International series.


Courtesy/Source: Wisden India